Glitter Photo Frame Ornaments{Making Lemonade}

Hey there, fellow CSIers!  It’s Carrie from Making Lemonade, and I’m thrilled to be here with a DIY ornament that would made a great addition to your tree (as well as a fabulous gift for someone special).  Believe it or not, this began life as a Pottery Barn ornament knock-off but became something very different– and about a hundred times more magical.  I’ll spill the beans over on my blog today so I hope you’ll stop on over to see just what I’m hinting at.  😉

These glittery photo frame ornaments are lightweight so they won’t drag down your tree branches.  Plus, they are versatile.  You aren’t limited to using them just on your tree.  Attach to stockings, hang along a branch for a beautiful family “tree”, attach to gifts as tags.  The list goes on and on!

The ornaments are cute alone, but in bulk really make an impact.  So instead of making one at a time go ahead and make a dozen– assembly line style.  Here’s how I made to make these one-of-a-kind photo frame ornaments, with plenty of options for customization {since I know you creative types like to add your own amazing touches, right?}


foam board
X-ACTO knife
scrapbook paper
3″ photo printed on regular paper (instructions in step 2)
Mod Podge
Elmer’s Glue
mixing cup
paint brush
ribbon for hanging
foam brush (optional)
earring headpin (optional)


1.  Measure and cut a 3″ square from foam board and one from scrapbook paper (the paper will become the back of the ornament).

2.  Next you’ll need a 3″ photo, printed on regular paper.  I used Picnik, a free and easy photo editing site to format my pictures.  It took less than three minutes for each photo.  Here’s a quick tutorial if you are new to Picnik, but feel free to use whatever method you’d like.  I’m not a graphic designer in the least, so all those experts out there feel free to comment with additional tips if you have an easier way to do this!

*  Upload desired photo to Picnik.

*  You’ll want to do three things to your photo: change to black and white, crop, and resize.

*  Under “basic edits”, crop your image to include the desired subject– being sure to leave a generous border for your glitter:

Helpful hint: you’ll want a perfectly square crop.  Here’s a cheat sheet: get as close as you can to a square shape and then manually enter in the measurements.  I simply kept one number the same and typed it on the other side as well:

*  Make sure the crop still looks good and is centered, and move to the next step– resizing.  In the “Resizing” section, simply type 300 X 300 and hit “Apply”.  300 is a number I chose at random but the resolution worked out really well so I think it’s a good number to use!

*  Then, under the ‘Effects’ tab click “Black and White” and hit “Apply”.  Black and white photos will look uniform in color and blend in beautifully with the rest of your ornaments.  But hey, go with “Sepia” for a vintage look or boost the colors for a bright and bold tree!

*  The last step in Picnik is renaming and saving to your desktop.  Easy as pie!

* After saving the image to my desktop, I dragged it into a word document.  Then I clicked the photo and dragged the corner until it was 3″ wide.  That ruler at the top sure came in handy!  I did this to all my photos, and ended up being able to fit 6 per page.

*  Then, print on regular paper.  And stare at your loves printed on the page.  Sigh repeatedly.

3.  Now the rest is gravy, baby.  Cut out your photos and get your Mod Podge ready.

Lightly and evenly apply Mod Podge to both the back of the photo and the face of your foam square.  I used a cheap foam brush (the .29 cent kind) from Michaels.  Press the paper and foam together, smooth out any bubbles.

4.  Do the same with your scrapbook paper: Mod Podge both the foam and the paper, press together, smooth.

5.  Get ready for some glitter!  Extra-fine glitter made these really sparkle.

While it comes in many colors, I had most success with silver.  Blue was a little too transparent.  That doesn’t mean you won’t have success with other colors though, so go crazy and run some glitter experiments if you wish.  Now, stir up some Elmer’s Glue with a little water.  It makes the glue thinner and easier to spread.  Using a paintbrush, apply a border of watered down Elmer’s around the front edges of the ornament.  Cover with glitter, and brush off excess.

6.  For the edges, I used a combo of a thin line of regular Elmer’s smoothed down with some of the watered-down Elmer’s and a paintbrush.  You don’t want any lumps of glue here, it will drip.  Be sure to get glue in all the nooks and crannies, and cover with glitter.  Brush/tap off excess.

7.  Isn’t it starting to look so pretty?  I didn’t add glitter to the back of the ornaments, so this is what most of mine look like– just a thin glitter border, which is a remnant from when I glittered the edges:

BUT, for all you fans of bling {and really, who isn’t?!}, you can certainly add some ‘ooomph’ by making a glitter border as directed in step 5.

8.  If you happen to have some earring headposts (with an “eye” loop) on hand, they really make it easy to attach the ribbon hanger.  Simply add a tiny dot of glue in the center of the top edge of the ornament and push them in until only the ring is showing.  Then add a ribbon hanger to finish the ornament.

insert headpost into foam
push all the way in
add ribbon loop

If you don’t have earring pins, you could simply hot glue your ribbon hanger right to the ornament.

There you have it, a fancy-schmancy glitter photo ornament.  The more you have on your tree, the more stunning they look.  Check out my finished tree, other photo ornaments, and see my secret about what it means (and how it all comes together) over at Making Lemonade.  I’d also love to see your beautiful projects over at my weekly link party, Refresh Your Nest Friday.  Thanks for the hospitality, and please let me know if you make this project.  I’d love to see how you make it your own and Create Something Inspiring!

~ Thanks Carrie. I love this and I love your detailed tutorial. Thank you for sharing. I know everyone will want to make this!!!

Thanks for sharing your day with us here at The CSI Project!


I am a craft lovin', Diet coke drinkin' kind of girl! I love glitter and anything leopard print. My passions are crafting, fitness and living a healthy lifestyle and of course my family. The CSI Project believes in the mission to Create, Share and Inspire. When you create and share, you are sure to inspire! Hope you come away from The CSI Project inspired and come back anytime!!!

Recent Posts